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Slow go for Assamese wikis

May 31: The Assamese Wikipedia Community will organise its second Guwahati meet on June 10 at Sudmerson Hall on the Cotton College campus.

The community will celebrate 10 years of the foundation of the Assamese wikipedia and organise a workshop to deliberate on how to collect more photographs and articles in Assamese to enrich the project. The programme will be held from 1pm.

Assamese wikipedia, an initiative that can be termed a big boost towards spreading the Assamese language globally, is an online encyclopedia to which anyone can upload articles and photos.

The articles are written in Unicode format, which allows a user to locate any topic by just entering a keyword and starting a search.

The project, which started on June 2, 2002, currently has 1,198 articles contributed by people from various walks of life.

There are 4,564 registered users and six administrators in the website. The administrators can protect, delete or restore pages, move pages over redirects, hide and delete page revisions, edit protected pages, and block other editors.

Those who are associated with the project feel that the number of articles and photographs available on the website is still low and something should be done to collect more content. Keeping this in mind, they recently organised a photography and article competition, which contributed 30 articles and 400 photographs relating to different aspects of Assamese culture and lifestyle to the existing database.

The winner of the competition will also be awarded on June 10.

The community feels that lack of permanent active contributors is the main problem faced by the project. “Besides, lack of awareness among the people is another reason,” said Bishnu Saikia, who is associated with the project.

In April, Jyoti Prakash Nath, a regular editor on the wikipedia, proposed the second Guwahati meet, while another editor, Uddip Talukdar, came up with the idea of the photography and article competition. Bishnu Saikia joined in later and now an executive committee, which includes Gitartha Bordoloi and Anjal Borah, is coordinating the project.

People from different languages have set up wikipedias in their own languages — around 280 till date.

The English wikipedia was started in 2001 under the Wikimedia Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge.

The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the world’s largest projects, including Wikipedia.